Victoria Police has state-wide plans for western crime group

A new farm crime and rural health group has been formed in Horsham


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NEW GROUP: Victoria Police Superintendent Peter Greaney and Horsham Agricultural Liaison Officer Senior Sergeant Simon Grant address the United Dairyfarmers conference, Melbourne.

NEW GROUP: Victoria Police Superintendent Peter Greaney and Horsham Agricultural Liaison Officer Senior Sergeant Simon Grant address the United Dairyfarmers conference, Melbourne.

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A new Wimmera agriculture action group is set to be rolled out state-wide.

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A new Wimmera agricultural sector crime prevention and health promotion group is likely to be rolled out throughout Victoria, according to a senior Victoria Police Superintendent.

Victoria Police Livestock Theft and Farm Crime Head of Practice Superintendent Peter Greaney said he would like to see groups such as the Wimmera Agriculture Sector Action Group introduced throughout the state.

"I'll talk to my counterparts, the operational superintendents in the other regions, and encourage them to form a similar group of stakeholders," Superintendent Greaney said.

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Horsham Agricultural Liaison Officer Senior Sergeant Simon Grant said the new Wimmera Agriculture Sector Action Group was made up of key industry players.

Its members include Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke, livestock agents' representative Dale Dryden, the saleyards superintendent Paul Christopher and Agriculture Victoria staff.

Snr Sgt Grant said it was also intended to include game management officials, to round out the group's approach.

"They'll be coming from the trespassing, deer poaching and wildlife poaching areas, as well," he said.

"We are trying to keep things fairly broad and hoping to get someone on board on rural health, particularly mental health, and also rural financial counselling.

"There are four key areas where we are going to be looking to send out some messaging, rural safety, mental health, crime prevention and biosecurity.

"Those four topics are really were we are setting our targets - collectively we can bring together our knowledge around those areas, but from different perspectives."

He said any information would be passed up through the Victoria Police chain of command, to Superintendent Greaney.

But Snr Sgt Grant said one of the biggest concerns was underreporting of rural crime.

"NSW recently did a study and they found up to 40 per cent of rural crime is not reported," he said.

He said they would try to get the message out through field days and social media.

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